Is It Time To Get Rid Of Commission Junction?

One of the first affiliate programs I joined was Commission Junction. In the early days of this blog, I added some kind of product to the end of every single post. I tried to match it to what I was talking about in the post, but since I can sometimes be all over the place that didn’t always work. Sometimes I added a product, sometimes just an affiliate link, all in the name of trying to make a buck or two off a post here and there.

As opposed to this;
who remembers?

Unfortunately, I never made any money off any of those things from the blog. As a matter of fact, though I have made some money through Commission Junction over the years, I’ve never made any of it from any of my blogs; that’s kind of interesting isn’t it? I can’t say it was total ad blindness because when I checked stats I would see clicks on ads, but no conversions; so sad…

But that hasn’t been the worst part. I’ve been paid $150 over the course of 6 years; that’s not good is it? Truthfully, I’ve earned more, but not “made” more. What do I mean by that? Most of the time, even when I could prove a purchase, I wouldn’t get paid. Commission Junction’s policy is that you have to work things out with the advertiser; they don’t get involved unless you can’t get the publisher to respond to you. However, it turns out that’s pretty much a lie as well because they’ll send you an email, ask you to try again, then closes the ticket almost immediately, as if they never got it. What the hey? Reminds me of Tim Bonner’s post about money back guarantees that aren’t.

I’ve done some testing over the years by buying products that I wanted from some of them. I’ve used my computer, my wife’s computer, and my laptop just to see what would happen. The only advertiser that’s ever immediately paid me is 123inkjets. GoDaddy has only paid me when I’ve contacted them with proof of purchase, as they’re who I’ve always recommended to people to buy their domain names from, using my affiliate link of course. I did have one other that paid me, but it took about 3 weeks of back and forth conversations with them; that was a purchase by someone else.

However, the latest trouble I’ve had, with a company called Fansedge, has led me to start thinking about my relationship with them and how positive it HASN’T been. I mean really, I’ve had some advertisers drop me because I wasn’t making enough sales, some not approve me because they didn’t like my website (it’s not always this blog by the way), and frankly it’s a pain because, without notice, Commission Junction has sometimes changed up one of their formats without telling anyone and, of course, I’ve gone in, spent a lot of time creating something, only to find out later that they’d discontinued it and that’s why it didn’t work; sigh…

I've got nothing.
OUCHcharley via Compfight

Of course you don’t have to take just my work for it. Go look up their name and “not paying me” on Google and you’ll see post after post of complaints by people. One of the other things they’ll do if, after so long a period of time, start taking $10 per month from your balance, as if it’s costing them anything to hold your money; that’s how the federal government makes money off us through taxes by the way, holding onto the excess we (well, most of you anyway) pay to get that yearly refund and making money off the accumulated interest.

Understand this though. If I decide I’m done with Commission Junction, I have a lot of work cut out for me. I have my Services and Stuff page that would have to go through a major overhaul because the overwhelming number of the links on the main page and the banner ads throughout are from them. My other websites have some of their products and banner ads on them as well.

I probably wouldn’t officially drop them; I’d just remove all ads, let the money dwindle away since I’ll never get it anyway, and move on with life. Even though Google Affiliate Network is gone, I still have Linkshare, through whom I’m connected with Barnes & Noble (that’s an affiliate link; I think you could save some money on purchases lol) and, whenever you see me advertising a book, comes through them. They have a lot of advertisers and I could always populate my site tht way.

This leads to the question about affiliate marketing in general; I think I’ll leave that for the next post (a teaser! lol).

15 thoughts on “Is It Time To Get Rid Of Commission Junction?”

  1. This is quite a good read. I believe when you feel like you are not improving in the commission area, you tend to find another and leave. About that affiliate marketing idea, I would definitely wait for that post. Thanks for sharing your views here.

  2. Hi Mitch,

    I tried dropping Commission Junction. And the reason I said tried is because for who knows what reason, after I requested they close my account it was still there, for over a year. Finally after a long time of inactivity they deactivated my account. I guess they want to make sure everything is on their terms.

    One thing that aggravated me was the monthly emails about advertisers being deactivated. So I’d remove the links and a few days later the advertiser would be reactivated. So I’d put the links back up until the next notice. This would happen with about three quarters of the advertisers I signed up with. Talk about a game of musical links!

    The final straw for me was losing my commission. I had earned a commission from one sale. A client bought an exercise bike that I recommended. Apparently the commission amount was not high enough for me to get paid so after a length of time it must have evaporated or something. I logged in and poof it was gone. I didn’t read the fine print about them charging that storage fee for holding onto all those funds just sitting in my account 😀

    1. ‘Musical links’, I loved that expression. 😀 I know exactly how you feel. Personally, I just ignore those emails. It’s just too much of a hassle trying to work pout where I placed those links.

    2. Aaron, I’m feeling you because all that stuff has irritated me as well over the years. I have a lot of older posts with ads that have been discontinued that I haven’t gone back to remove because, well, it’s hundreds of posts I’d have to go into. At best I’ve removed the links but that’s as far as that goes. Yeah, they and some others have made the entire thing not seem like it’s worth it sometimes.

  3. I’ve made a fair bit from Commission Junction but not much of late. Didn’t know they started charging you ten bucks for holding your money! That’s why I stopped promoting Clickbank products.

    Affiliate marketing is pretty hard, especially because you have to keep pushing products in order to make some money. One of the reasons why I appreciate my lottery blogs so much. Once I sign on a customer I get commission from their sales for life.

    1. Sire, some sites like yours really are the way to go if you can have consistent content to help keep it relevant. You’re right though, CJ will eventually start taking my money on a monthly basis and that’ll be that if I decide not to continue with it. Too bad because I’ve been with them for years as well.

  4. This is one of those stories that discourage many from some affiliate networks.

    The saddest part is always when the affiliate knows he has made a sale but the advertisers or merchants keep revising payment policies.

    Commission Junction may not be best now and if you ask me, its time to quit and stick with other dependable and trusted alternatives.

  5. This is really sad. Losing your earnings after working your ass up is not the best thing to happen to an affiliate marketer.

    It’s unfortunate some sites keep exploiting their users and pretend to be reputable. I have tried to use CJ in the past but got discouraged after my account got deactivated twice for not sending sales. I was never really good at making the sales.

    I would rather advise you left commission Junction since they have never been straight forward with you. The time, energy, and money put into generating lead for them is not worth it. Look for much more better platforms like Clickbank, Shareasale, etc to promote and make your money.

    Do have a pleasant weekend.

    1. Greetings Efoghor (is there a short name to call you lol?),

      I may just let the past earnings dwindle instead of doing anything other than removing ads. As I said, it’d be a lot of work to go through to remove it all. As for the sites you mentioned, I’ve never made a dime off Clickbank or Shareasale, and I’ve had each for years. I promoted a book I actually bought & got a lot of use from out of Clickbank and… nothing.

  6. Another problem with CJ is they remove your account if you aren’t active enough for a certain amount of time. That is a deal breaker for me because I don’t want to clean up a ton of links on several sites because we experienced a slow spell..

    1. Exactly. I have a feeling my account will go that route, although I could keep it alive by buying a domain name here and there every so many months. I have one more to buy, for my medical organization, but after that… man, I just don’t know that I want to build any more websites. lol

  7. Mitch,
    Affiliate marketing isn’t dead – we just need to use them the right way based on the content/traffic profile. I keep experimenting with newer traffic avenues than just banner ads and a few things are working well.

    1. Ajith, you’ve been around a long time, almost as long as me. Have you ever had a year where you’ve made enough to live off? For that matter, have you ever made at least $1,500 in one year from affiliate marketing (Adsense doesn’t count)? With all the people who’ve been doing it for a long time & all the programs out there to teach everyone how to do it, the percentages are abysmal. Sure, we might make $10 here and there, but that’s about it. That’s what I mean by its dying; only the elite are really making it work.

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